Skip to Navigation
University of Pittsburgh
Print This Page Print this pages

December 10, 1998

5 staff named winners of chancellor's award

Cheers, backslaps, hand shakes, applause – and a few tears of pride – greeted five staff employees with 40 years of service to Pitt as well as the five winners of this year's Chancellor's Award for Excellence for Staff, who were individually honored at yesterday's annual staff recognition reception.

Each chancellor's award winner receives $2,500.

Chancellor Mark Nordenberg told the crowd in the William Pitt Union Ballroom, "This staff recognition ceremony always is one of the really uplifting events of the year for me because it so visibly reinforces what we all know. And that is, that this is a University that is blessed with an unusually capable and committed staff." Staff recognized for 40 years of service were: Francis M. Fuhry Jr. of Facilities Management, Barbara Ann Hess of the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, Delores E. Johnson of the Office of the Chancellor, Charles R. McCain of the University Library System, and Warren Thompson of the School of Medicine.

Recipients of the third annual Chancellor's Awards for Excellence for Staff were: Theresa Benedek, Lenora "Peaches" Freshley, Patsy Guzzi, Philip Hopbell and Shirley Kregar. They were honored for their work at the University and contributions to the community.

Benedek is executive assistant to Dean Toni Carbo of the School of Information Sciences. She came to Pitt in 1967 as a clerk/typist in Hillman Library's cataloging department. Benedek has served on Pitt's Staff Association Council since 1993 and has been a marshal for the annual honors convocation and a diploma assistant for the annual commencement exercises.

"She is a regular volunteer in the [United Way's] annual Day of Caring and the Pittsburgh Marathon," Nordenberg added. "She's a Girl Scout leader and an officer in the Shaler Choir Parent Association." Freshley started work at the University in 1993 as a secretary in the financial reporting section of General Accounting. She currently serves in a purchasing support role in financial operations and assists both Purchasing and Accounts Payable.

An active member of Pitt's Volunteer Pool, Freshley also is a counselor at the Women's Center and Shelter of Pittsburgh, where she frequently staffs the telephone hotline. Freshley also volunteers for the Race for the Cure and is active in Mount Ararat Baptist Church.

Guzzi was hired as a senior accounting clerk in Research Accounting in 1979. Since then, he has held a number of jobs and currently is the financial officer in the School of Medicine's Department of Molecular Genetics and Biochemistry.

Chancellor Nordenberg credited Guzzi with developing a grant-accounting system used throughout the medical school and a cost-recovery model that has enabled the school to recoup thousands of dollars annually. "Patsy also assumed responsibility for developing a relationship with Institutional Advancement that resulted in the establishment of a departmental endowment fund," Nordenberg said. "He was instrumental in the development of the Research Support Core Facilities at the Center for Biotechnology and Bioengineering and was able to secure approximately $500,000 worth of donated equipment to support two FDA-approved laboratories." Hopbell is manager of transportation and receiving in the Department of Parking, Transportation and Services. He began work at Pitt as a stockroom clerk in 1965.

"Phil has been responsible for orchestrating moves involving everything from boxes to entire football teams," said Nordenberg, who noted with a laugh that Hopbell has helped to move his belongings a number of times as Nordenberg has moved from job to job at Pitt.

Hopbell has assisted in Pitt's annual Scouting for Food campaign, the medical school's Christmas food drive, the Christmas toy drive, Toys for Tots and the Hand in Hand Festival. He was named Turtle Creek's Optimus Man of the Year for his work with Turtle Creek youth. He has coached grade school and high school teams in football and basketball, started several girls' basketball programs and clinics at the grade school level and is an active volunteer at St. Coleman Church.

Kregar was a Peace Corps volunteer in Peru before coming to the University in 1968. She has advanced from her first job as secretary in the Center for Latin American Studies to her current position as assistant director of the center. Kregar also has completed two voyages as a staff member on Semester at Sea.

"Shirley has been active on University and community committees, including Nationality Room scholarship committees, the state level selection committee for the Pennsylvania Governor's School for International Studies, the University Fulbright interview committee, and as an evaluator and consultant for the United States Information Agency in Peru," Nordenberg said. "She currently is responsible for advising about 300 undergraduate and graduate students in the Latin American studies certificate program." Nordenberg pointed out that staff perform diverse duties at all five Pitt campuses.

"You provide valuable support to our faculty and to other members of the staff," the chancellor said. "You offer able assistance to students and to visitors on campus. And you extend the University's reach into communities and neighborhoods where our help and our involvement are most needed. And, looking around this room, it's clear that you keep our facilities sparkling and bright as well as keeping our equipment functioning efficiently and effectively.

"Ultimately," Nordenberg told staff, "you have a hand in ensuring that each of our students gets the best possible experience that he or she can have here, which is our most central mission."

‹ Bruce Steele

Filed under: Feature,Volume 31 Issue 8

Leave a Reply